Millennials were the first generation to have access to technology and the digital sphere from a very young age. As a result, they are currently the most tech-savvy generation in the workplace. But, the digital technology, which was almost born with them, was a young place when they were growing up. Comparatively speaking, it is fair to say that young Millennials had a safest digital environment to explore than their children. The digital sphere has indeed had time to mature, and there’s more to fear for young users than the odd email from a Nigerian Prince claiming that he needs your money to rescue his realm from a villain king. In other words, it is now the responsibility of parents and developers who work with and for young users to clarify the potential online risks. Underaged users lack the necessary judgement that comes with age and experience. While their grasp of technology is quicker than the previous generations, they remain trusting children whose naive innocence could be abused digitally. Here’s how professionals and parents can protect the online privacy of underage users.
Developers: get the basics right
As there is an increase in children-focused websites, it is essential that the development team ensure a safe navigation to the young users. Aside from ensuring that all web content and building tools have secured passwords, it’s essential to limit the circulation of your credentials. From a business’s perspective, limiting access limits risks too. Additionally, more often than not in a long-term project, a data breach occurs as a result of lack of cohesion in the authentication steps. When you think that a change of parameters could let hackers retrieve data from a secure page, it’s key to review the security of your settings. Finally, old systems and products that have not been updated could cause functionality and safety issues. When working on a tool or a website designed for children, an updated environment is always the best approach.
Parents: Don’t let people spy on your kids
Hackers can crack access to your webcam and spy on the person using the computer. On PC and Windows-laptops, most hackers will use a Trojan horse attacks to remote control the device’s function. More often than not, using a firewall can help to identify the virus before it’s activated and remove it. But hackers are getting smarter, and you can never take too many precautions to protect your children. Consequently, more and more parents rely on webcam covers to ensure that they don’t accidentally put the privacy of younger users at risk. Similarly, even candid social media posts can put your child’s privacy at risk.
Making parents responsible
More and more online solutions offer an age-safety option. If you create a Gmail account for your child, you can keep the account secure with Family Link. There is indeed only so much that developers can do to keep a product safe for underage users. Ultimately, creating a management function allows businesses to encourage parents to look after the best interests of their children online.
Keeping underaged users safe is the mutual responsibility of developers and parents. Programmers need to produce a product that isn’t accessible to hackers and data thieves. Similarly, parents need to take an active part in the digital protection of their children.
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Walter Guevara is a Computer Scientist, software engineer, startup founder and currently mentors for a coding bootcamp. He has been creating software for the past 15 years.